Perhaps you’ve just upgraded to a family house but you’re yet to hear the pitter patter of tiny feet. Or your fledglings have flown the nest but you love the house too much to downsize. Either way, you may find yourself in possession of that most luxurious asset: a spare room.
A lot of spare rooms end up as nominal guest bedrooms, or used to store all the things you don’t really like, such as the armchair you inherited from Grandma or that porcelain doll collection you grew out of on your 18th birthday.
But with such a precious asset at your disposal, why be limited? Here are five indulgent ways to transform your spare room into the room of your dreams.
1. Home office
Okay, a home office sounds practical, but this is the opportunity to design something that exactly fits your needs. Perhaps you’ve always dreamt of writing the Great Australian Novel, or you want somewhere that will keep the household paperwork in perfect working order. Add a vintage desk and comfortable chair, and make sure that the lighting is adequate to read the fine print. If you have the space, you can even add a day bed – that way, if the tax return proves too tedious, you can take a restorative nap.
The library used to be a staple of grand houses, and what better time to resurrect them? Install some built in shelves and let your inner bookworm loose arranging your reading material by genre, author or even the colour of the spine. Add the most comfortable seating you can and some great reading lamps, and you have a haven from the world.
If you have kids, consider creating a kids reading zone with squishy beanbags and bookshelves set low on the wall to encourage a lifelong love of reading. Just the thing for a rainy day!
3. Music and dance
Unleash the rock and roll musician you were always meant to be in a sound insulated space of your very own. No need to annoy family members with endless scales: a music room gives you the freedom to practice to your hearts’ content. Add storage for all the equipment that can accumulate, whether it’s sheet music, amplifiers or instrument stands, and install thick floor and window coverings to help dampen the sound.
If it’s dance that’s your passion, why not turn the spare room into a dance studio? You’ll want to keep the floor space as clear as possible, with wall mirrors and great lighting so you can keep an eye on your movements and poise. Don’t neglect the sound insulation here, either: sometimes you’ll want the music up loud!
4. Art studio
If your spare room enjoys ample natural light, it might be a good candidate for an artist studio. Even a small space will work well as long as you have great light. Think about neutral wall colours that won’t distract from your creations, and if you’re using paint, it’s probably best to keep the floor coverings easy-clean. If possible, install a sink for clean up, and plenty of storage for supplies.
5. Home gym
No more sharing space with sweaty strangers: create a home gym and work out in blissful solitude. You can tailor the space for your workout needs, with your preferred weight machines, treadmill, yoga mat or boxing equipment taking pride of place. Install a wall to ceiling mirror so you can check your form, and keep the lighting upbeat. A sound system might be a good idea here, too, so you can keep motivated with your favourite playlist.
One of the primary joys of home ownership is being able to do what you want with your space, so don’t let our suggestions limit you. If you’ve always dreamed of your own private planetarium or a dressing room to rival Zsa Zsa Gabor, this is your chance!